The celebrated director behind such Pixar animated classics as A Bug's Life, WALL-E, and the Oscar-winning Finding Nemo, Andrew Stanton, has now found his next feature. Stanton is currently in talks to helm a movie entitled Chairman Spaceman for Searchlight Pictures and Simon Kinberg's Genre Films.

The movie will be based on a New Yorker fiction story written by Thomas Pierce which first appeared back in 2017, Chairman Spaceman tells the tale of "an infamous corporate raider who renounces his worldly wealth to become an interplanetary missionary". Pierce himself will be adapting his own short story for the movie treatment, with The Martian and Logan producer Simon Kinberg set to produce alongside Genre Films' Audrey Chon.

The short story on which Chairman Spaceman will be based on is about a man named Dom Whipple, a "notorious corporate raider, the scourge of boardrooms near and far," who has joined a church, renounced his worldly wealth, and signed up as an interplanetary missionary who is going to "spread the message of God's love to unexplored solar systems". It sounds like an interesting project for Stanton to take on and will mark the director's second live-action feature film following 2012's science-fiction actioner John Carter.

That particular live-action effort became infamous rather quickly due to the sheer amount of money that was lost at the box office. Although the movie grossed nearly $300 million worldwide, it lost a considerable amount of money due to its budgetary and marketing costs. The movie finds the titular John Carter being transported to Mars, where he learns about his superhuman capabilities. Things take a turn when he rescues a princess who is on the run. The movie is based on 1917's A Princess of Mars, the first book in the Barsoom series of novels by Edgar Rice Burroughs. Since John Carter was release, it has gained something of a cult following, with audiences liking the movie a lot more than critics. Sadly, it is now destined to be remembered as one of Disney's biggest box office bombs.

In the time since John Carter, Stanton has worked in live-action elsewhere beyond the big screen, having stepped behind the camera for television shows such as Legion, Tales from the Loop, Better Call Saul, and Netflix's much-loved Stranger Things.

Andrew Stanton has previously discussed the surprising similarities between working on animation and live-action, saying "People think that when you work on an animated film, it's as if [you're] talking to a bunch of computers [your] whole life. I actually talk to 200 people every day, 200 people that have different jobs, like how to do the lighting, the camera, the costume work. So it's very similar, actually, in live-action. I'm talking to people that do the camera, the costumes, the actors, and it's just that you're doing it outside instead of inside."

In terms of his highly successful career in animation, Stanton also wrote the screenplays for Pixar highlights Toy Story, Monsters Inc., Toy Story 2, and Toy Story 4. It is unclear when filming on Chairman Spaceman will be able to begin, but it is certainly one to add to your "must-see" list. This comes to us from The Hollywood Reporter.

Jon Fuge at Movieweb
Jon Fuge